STEPHENS CITY — Tina Stevens-Culbreath, co-founder and executive director of the nonprofit I’m Just Me Movement, announced Friday that she is running for Stephens City Town Council in the Nov. 5 special election.
The special election was prompted after former Town Council Member Kelly Ann Thatcher resigned on June 19 so she could become the town clerk. Whoever wins the special election will fill the remainder of Thatcher’s term, which expires on Dec. 31, 2020. So far, Stevens-Culbreath is the only candidate.
Town Council members serve four-year terms and are not paid.
In 2013, Stevens-Culbreath, 44, and her husband Rodney Culbreath co-founded the I’m Just Me Movement, a nonprofit organization that mentors at-risk youth, promotes diversity and inclusion and helps people overcome adversity. To date, the organization has helped nearly 400 youth.
“I have always been involved in the community in some capacity,” Stevens-Culbreath said. “Whether it is the I’m Just Me Movement or other community outreach programs, I’ve always felt best when connected with the community. I want to expand that community involvement to the town and help to ensure our success into the future.”
One of her top priorities as a member of the town council is to encourage business growth.
“Now that we have ended our legal battle with Frederick Water, it is time now that the town move on to other projects that will better our community and will ensure our future,” Stevens-Culbreath said. “We need to develop a comprehensive plan to address water and sewer issues and plan for future development in to town. We need to work with businesses and find ways to encourage them to open up shop in Stephens City. We also need to engage with the community and be more transparent about the happenings in town.”
Stevens-Culbreath wants to start discussions about opening a center for youth in Stephens City, as traveling to the Youth Development Center in Winchester can be a hurdle for some town residents.
“I’d like to see community events and outreach programs that will keep youth, young people and families positively involved,” she said. “Creating partnerships with other business such as LFCC for community support for transportation for kids that don’t have means to get to college.”
She said she enjoys the “neighborly feel” of Stephens City and would like to continue to build upon what she feels makes the town great. Stevens-Culbreath feels she can connect with people from all walks of life and said it is much easier for people to find common ground at the local level than in national politics.
Stevens-Culbreath said that as a woman of color she will bring a new voice and perspective to the council. She described herself as a grassroots community organizer, and said she wants to engage the residents and families in town to ensure that their voices and concerns are being heard and addressed.
Stevens-Culbreath is committee chair for the Frederick Douglass Park Club in Winchester, which hosts Family Day events, connects people with resources, and promotes healthy relationships between law enforcement and the community. She is also a member of NSV Civitan, a service organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Civitan has also partnered with I’m Just Me on an All-Abilities playground to be built at Sherando Park.
She works at the Giant in Purcellville. She studied medical coding and business at Lord Fairfax Community College. She is a board-certified Peer Recovery Specialist.
Stevens-Culbreath has lived in Stephens City for two years and in the Winchester area since 2007. She and her husband have five adult children and one son attending Sherando High School.